Imagine two people - a creative industries worker and a civil servant tasked with economic development policy. How well do these people understand each other?
Economic policy is often very top down with governments putting out policy then the end users trying to make sense of it to help benefit them and their business.
Creative industries workers have to know the right words and be corralled into the right shape to get money and support from policymakers.
It plays out like one of those prison visit rooms from an American movie. The prisoner and visitor are separated by a glass window and they communicate by telephones connected to the wall. Now imagine instead of a prisoner and visitor you have a creative industries worker and on the other side a civil servant tasked with economic development - now the kicker, the telephone line has been cut.
My job is to mediate between these two universes, to fix the telephone cord.
My research interests are linked to the social and economic issues we face in this period of unprecedented abundance and inequality.
My PhD is focused on managing agglomeration and city region dynamics. The geographical churn, turbulence, and unevenness of development, combined with the sheer scale or urbanization, will make city-region development more important than ever—to economics, politics, our mood and our welfare. And managing it will pose one of the most critical challenges to humanity.
Outside of my PhD, I undertake consulting projects that connect with my research interests. Currently working for the finance & banking think tank Positive Money, with the goal of monetary systems reform.
Member of Happy City's Measurement and Policy Advisory Group.
Managing Agglomeration and city-region dynamics in Wales
Present working title: The economic impact of the city-region approach: The Case of Creative Industries in the Cardiff Capital Region
Economic policy is often very top down with governments putting out a policy then the end users trying to make sense of it to help benefit them and their business. The city-region approach is the new vogue for regional economic policymaking and the Cardiff capital region is like many others putting out its own development policy.
How well does this traditional top-down economic approach fit with the on the ground reality for creative industries workers that have to be corralled into such a shape to get money and support from these policies? Can public economic policy of spatial areas fit with quirky sectors, particularly in culturally interesting places like Wales?
This research aims to mediate between these to universes by building an input-output table of the Cardiff capital region, which will describe the links between different industrial sectors, productivity, employment and the other desires of the big public players and the reality of what happens to the creative workers on the ground.